Degradable tree-based filament: Extrudr BDP review!
Extrudr BDP is a PLA alternative with more of what makes PLA good. But can it convince?
What do you get when you take all unique traits of PLA and try to amplify them – well, you get something like Extrudr BDP. Selling at a decidedly premium 56€ for a one kilogram spool, it’s a biopolymer that is, as I understand it, related to the polymers that hold trees together. It’s biodegradable in a household compost pile, unlike PLA, which needs very specific conditions. According to Extrudr, within four months in the compost, almost half of the material will have broken down. I couldn’t test this claim yet, but might do in the future.
At the same time, BDP is rated safe for food contact, but as with any 3D printed part, getting them clean including the ridges the layers create can be challenging in a handwash.
BDP sticks incredibly well to buildplates and itself, can be printed at extremely low temperatures down to 160° and show very little warp, so it’s ideal for huge prints and unheated buildplates.
I ran the calibration 3Dbenchies at 160, 180 and 200°C, and they all printed perfectly! I did not expect BDP to perform well over this wide of a temperature range and the only differences were a slightly more dull finish on the 160°C one and some some slight hair growth on the 200° Benchy. For the rest of the prints, I went with 180°, a 55° buildplate, 110% flow and the cooling fan turned up all the way. With this being the “Pearl” version of BDP, it comes with a decent shiny, metallic look. It’s not of the in-your-face-type like some other shiny filaments and resembles, well, Pearl and nacre, so I printed a seashell and it did turn out beautifully! No supports on the inside. Print quality otherwise is solid as well, so BDP earns the second set of 5 flaming stars here.
Mechanically, it’s decent, but it’s not great. Impact resistance is slightly better than PLA, but it is a bit softer and doesn’t quite get a highscore for strength. Thermal resistance is very comparable to PLA despite the lower possible print temperature. So mechanically, that’s only three and a half stars, BDP is rigid, consistent and predictable, but wouldn’t be my prime choice for heavily load-bearing parts.
Overall, that sums up to five solid stars, making BDP a great choice as a straight upgrade path from PLA.